Lexi McMenamin 11-23-2020

Graphic via the website isthisacoup.com

Even before ballots were cast in the 2020 presidential election, many were suspicious of how the Trump White House would handle a potential transfer of power. As the election wound down with clear margins in President-elect Joe Biden’s favor — and as Donald Trump continued his refusal to concede — more people began to use the word “coup.”

Lexi McMenamin 11-19-2020

Protesters in New York City rally against the Muslim ban in February 2017. Photo: a katz / Shutterstock.com

“President Trump and some of his appointees have sowed fear and division among religious communities,” says the letter. “The Biden administration must act quickly to correct these actions and reclaim a positive vision of religious freedom that protects all Americans.”

Cassie M. Chew 11-18-2020

Calvin Williams canvasses in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 28, 2020 for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRCC), an organization led by formerly convicted people dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

“We understand that this policy is being used to distract us from the fact that you are policing us at a greater rate than ever before,” said Brittany White, who spent five years at an Alabama correctional facility after being convicted of drug trafficking and now works to engage newly enfranchised voters. “We are not fooled by this First Step Act and the other minor policies that have been implemented.”

Jessica Skelly 11-16-2020

A band featuring Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team mascot, plays across the street from where ballots are being counted in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2020. REUTERS / Mark Makela

As this uncertain post-election period continues in the United States, we must be prepared to help calm communities, prevent violence, and protect each other through disciplined and strategic nonviolent action.

Detroit pastors, including Rev. Dr. James Perkins , right, observe the polling location at Greater Christ Baptist Church administrative offices on Election Day. Erik Howard / Sojourners

“I’ve been a pastor for 44 years in Detroit in the urban setting. I have never seen this level of organization and mobilization toward an election as I saw this time,” said Bishop Edgar Vann II, senior pastor of Second Ebenezer Church. “This one went deep into the literal souls of people because everything everyone has gone through this year.”

Yesterday our nation saw 144,000 new COVID-19 cases, a staggering and heart- wrenching number, particularly as our nation tries to turn a corner after such a bruising election. While we both felt an overwhelming sense of relief and hope when news broke Saturday that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were declared winners of the election, events of the past few days show that this continues to be a season for fervent prayer, vigilance, and, if necessary, faithful action.

Mitchell Atencio 11-10-2020

Joe Biden at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisc., on September 3, 2020. Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Before winning the election, Biden touted endorsements from more than 1,600 faith leaders, the largest number for a Democratic candidate in modern history. The noteable outreach could be attributed partially to President Donald Trump’s relationship with religious conservatives. The increasing visibility of religious leaders in progressive politics also provided an opportunity. However, when looking for a catalyst to the campaign’s faith outreach, experts in faith and politics point to Joe Biden himself.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), poses with newly elected Republican senators, left to right, Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville, (R-Ala.), Sen.-elect Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Sen.-elect Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov.9, 2020. Ken Cedeno/Pool via REUTERS

When Republicans talk about having the “right” to pursue legal challenges, they are technically correct and morally shameless. Put simply, they are indulging a narcissistic bully on the political playground, damaging trust and community for all. Any psychologist or pastor will tell you that just trying to give a vengeful narcissist more time to calm down, and “let things play out,” will only make matters worse. We’ve tried that for almost four years. And it has gotten worse. The same will happen after four more weeks, or four more days, or four more hours.

Gina Ciliberto 11-07-2020

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 27, 2020. REUTERS/David Becker

On Aug. 19, as she accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president of the United States, Harris quoted 2 Corinthians 5:7 expressing her commitment “[t]o the Word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans ... of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”

Mitchell Atencio 11-07-2020

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden smiles as he takes off his mask to speak about the voting results of the 2020 presidential election on November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“I’m a practicing Catholic. I believe faith is a gift. And the first obligation we all have is, ‘Love your God,’ the second one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’” Biden said. The president-elect’s religion and theology had been a central part of his pitch to “restore the soul of America,” which has been reflected in his schedule, policy, and statements from the campaign trail.

Rev. Raphael Warnock

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Black Democrat, faces an uphill battle in trying to unseat Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman who was appointed to the seat in the conservative-leaning state after its former occupant retired.

Rev. Kwasi Thornell, right, offers faithful presence outside a polling site in Miami, Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Tony Barreau / Sojourners

In Alabama, polling sites in low-income areas of Birmingham were relocated with no explanation and very little warning to residents – many of whom typically struggle to acquire a reliable means of transportation. Luckily, poll chaplain commissioner Sheila Tyson was there to galvanize the community and organize free rideshare services to get these voters safely to the polls and back home.

Cassie M. Chew 11-05-2020

President Donald Trump attends a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Preliminary exit polling indicates that religious voters maintained many of the political allegiances they have kept for the past several decades — with one possible exception: white Catholics. About two-thirds, or 68 percent, of voters who identify as Christian cast their ballots for President Donald Trump while 31 percent voted for Joe Biden, according to the latest numbers from Edison Research, which conducts a national exit poll for the news media.

Curtis Yee 11-05-2020

Activists, relatives of those killed in the drug war, and others protest extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. Photo by AC Dimatatac / 350.org

Should the faithful take to the streets in protest to combat political injustice, they will be following the footsteps of religious groups across the globe that have responded with nonviolent action during times of civil resistance.

Pastors serving as poll chaplains with Lawyers and Collars on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Photo: Erik Paul Howard / Sojourners

After President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory in the presidential election at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, he continued to share unsubstantiated claims about dumped ballots, mysteriously found votes, and an effort to rig ballot counts.

Adam Russell Taylor 11-04-2020

Poll workers process absentee ballots the night of Election Day at Milwaukee Central Count in Milwaukee, Nov. 3, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

It was a fitful night of what I can only generously describe as sleep. Maybe you can relate. I drifted off to sleep early, only to be awakened at midnight by my wife, who had received the latest election alert on her phone. My 7- and 9-year-old sons were also one edge almost all Election Day, worried about my day trip to Philadelphia and showing an uncanny degree of interest in the constant news coverage.

Gina Ciliberto 11-03-2020

Arely Venegas, 30, votes with her 9-month-old son Samuel at a polling station on Election Day in Huntington Park, Calif., on November 3, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Voters in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Illinois, and Minnesota all reported that fellow voters opted to invalidate their absentee ballots at the polls on Election Day and cast their votes live instead. Their reasons included concerns about their absentee ballots being received on time, mail-in votes being counted legally, and finding a dropbox for the ballots.

Mitchell Atencio 11-03-2020

Voters wait in a long line to cast their ballots at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on November 3, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Hundreds of faith leaders and organizations have released statements in the last week demanding that every vote be counted and expressing their peaceful commitment to the democratic process.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seal is seen at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. state and local officials have been raising the alarm over at least two separate automated call campaigns as millions of Americans cast their votes on Tuesday to decide between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden.

Voters line up outside a polling location at the Church of Saint Luke & The Epiphany on Election Day in Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Ben Von Klemperer / Shutterstock

Nearly 100 million Americans have already cast their ballots. It’s a staggering and hopeful number that makes this Election Day unlike any other. Today, the nation decides whether it will follow the path to a more inclusive, multiracial democracy — or spiral further into the violent abyss of white supremacy. Today we decide what kind of nation we want to become.